Yummy, Spinach and Cannellini Soup

With a few staples in the pantry you can create fresh and filling healthy meals by adding a seasonal ingredient or two.

Cannellini or white kidney beans, garlic, yellow onion and coconut oil are always on hand.

A bunch of fresh spinach added to a few simple staples puts this meal over the top.

Coconut oil, garlic and yellow onion sauté until soft and then add spicy and beans.

Add a few cups of water and allow the everything to simmer together.

I have been avoiding soup bases and bullion because they contain MSG…even the vegan brands, for the most part.

This dish doesn’t need it.

The richness of the coconut oil makes this soup tasty without any added chemicals.

This meal is very clean and filling.

Talk about cheap!

There is no excuse not to eat well when you can have a meal like this in minutes.

Enjoy and share!

Baby Lima Bean Soup with Kerrygold Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

099kerrigold grilled cheese and baby lima bean and potato soup

Chilly outside and only soup and a sandwich will do!

073winter flowers

I picked up these flowers at a local market and they completely set the tone for the weekend.

Even the colors inspired this Sunday’s menu.

Creamy baby lima bean and yukon gold potato soup with Kerrygold cheddar grilled cheese.

Fragrant rosemary and roasted garlic add to the rich creaminess of this meal.

019soak the beans overnight

Start by soaking the beans overnight.

027second water add the onion

Pour out the water and add fresh water for quick boiling.

When you’ve brought these beans to a boil pour out this water, as well.

For the final cooking add enough water to cover plus about 4 cups.

Add a large sweet onion and allow to cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

Meanwhile, roast a head of garlic in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes

036garlic onion rosemary and olive oil

When the onion is done remove and place in the food processer with the roasted garlic, about 2 Tbspn of dried rosemary, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 Tbspn flour.

Blend until creamy.

Add this to the boiling beans.

Add 2 Tbspn of vegetarian boullion and salt and pepper to taste.

043yukon gold potato for bean soup

Chop 5-6 Yukon Gold potatoes and ad to the soup and allow to cook on medium heat for 2 hours.

071winter flowers

081Kerrigold cheddar cheese sandwich

Grilled cheese is perfect with this soup!

This is the perfect winter meal for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

099kerrigold grilled cheese and baby lima bean and potato soup

Enjoy!

Meatless Monday! Broccolini Soup and Quinoa, Black Bean Salad

044meatless monday PD

Meatless Monday! Broccolini soup and quinoa salad were the perect combo.

Quinoa is a complete protein and black beans, tomato and basil create a filling nutritious but light meal.

Olive oil and lemon dress the salad with salt to taste.

Quinoa is fast and easy to prepare; 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water, boil for about 15 minutes and you’re ready to go.

Just chop the rest of the ingredients and fold into warm quinoa. I used canned black beans so I rinsed them well to decrease the sodium content. I used about 1/2 can.

012broccoli soup

I made a quick “broth” for the soup by boiling the stems of the broccolini in water with garlic slices.

I boiled until tender then pureed in the food processor.

015broccoli soup

I then sauteed 1/2 onion and more garlic in olive oil and created a roux with 2 Tbspn of flour and 2 tbspn of butter.

021broccoli soup

Then 1 cup of half and half and 2 cups milk.

My girls wanted cheddar so I added about 3/4 of a cup.

029broccoli soup

I then combined everything in one pot to cook then added the tops of the broccolini to cook in the soup.

035quinoa salad

Warm and creamy with light and bright.

037meatless monday

These tomatoes were the best. The juicy brightness set off the quinoa just right.
041meatless monday

Meatless Monday! Sweet Corn Chowder with Roasted Red Pepper and Cilantro and Baby Field Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette

008 tulips PD

Spring is fragrant and lovely in this little lakeside town.

Warm sunny days inspire herbs and fresh veggies and lots of salad!

My daughters loved this meal and the simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the salad.

Fresh and crunchy with warm and creamy; Perfection!

017Meatless Monday soup and salad

This chowder was so easy.

Ingredients:

2 Cups organic sweet corn
1 ½ cups half and half
½ cup milk
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup finely grated Mexican cheese blend
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbspn organic sweet cream butter
¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
¼ white onion chopped
½ Tbspn chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

002corn chowderPD

Method:

Add butter to medium sized sauté pot.
Add chopped garlic, chili powder, onion and corn and allow to sauté for a few minutes.
Add cilantro half and half and cheese.
Allow to cook then add milk; enough to create a smooth creamy consistency.
Serve warm and enjoy!

019Meatless Monday soup and salad

Meatless Monday! Kale and Potato Soup with White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini!

024kale potato soup with crostini PD

Meatless Monday! was a huge hit tonight. It may have been the best to date.

The soup and sandwich idea was inspired by a cold and rainy day

This meal was not just meatless but vegan deliciousness.

My kale obsession continues and I have made it kid friendly and so satisfying.

I had planned to put the white beans in the soup and serve with a gourmet toasted cheese sandwich. When I mentioned this to my daughter she turned up her nose at the cheese sandwich idea, which actually made me happy as I am all about vegan meals.

So I began “deconstructing”. What to do with the beans? What do we get from cheese that we like so much? The creamy, filling, salty goodness! I can do that with white beans!

011crostini with roasted red pepper basil pesto and white bean

A baguette thinly sliced and lightly coated with fragrant organic olive oil was the beginning.

I then lightly toasted them and put them aside.
I sautéed ¼ of a white onion with 5 cloves of garlic and about 2 big tablespoons of rosemary in ¼ cup of olive oil until the onions were transparent.
Then I placed the cooled mixture into the food processer with 2 cans of white northern beans and pureed and set this aside, also.
I then sliced 1 large roasted red pepper.

I also had a large bunch of fresh basil. I used 5-6 cloves of garlic and toasted about a half cup of pine nuts and combined in the food processer with ¾ cup of olive oil and set that aside to assemble right before dinner so that the crostini did not become soggy.

018crostini with roasted red pepper basil pesto and white bean PD

020kale potato soup PD

The kale soup was easy plus I cheated with vegan soup bullion.

In a large soup pot I sautéed ½ a white onion with 5-6 cloves of garlic and about ½ cup of olive oil.

I chopped the kale and sautéed it for a bit, then added cubed yellow organic potatoes.

I then added about 8-10 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vegan bullion and allowed it to cook for about an hour and a half.

022Kale potato soup PD

Parmesan cheese tops my daughters soup.
027kale potato soup with parmesan PD

029white bean basil pesto and rosted red pepper crostini PD

This wine was great with the soup.
038 Pinot with kale soup PD

This was my “cheat” ingredient!035vegan boullion PD

My food processor was my best friend today. I couldn’t have done it without her! I could have but it wouldn’t have been as easy or as fun!
042food prosseser PD

Simple Soup on the Run

004 Quick soup PD

I needed healthy, hardy fast food. I am a vegetarian/vegan ( I sometime slip with cheese) so there were not a lot of options as I was running errands today.

I am working on a writing deadline and just needed to fill the growling belly…quick.

That is when, as I was hunting through my pantry, I came across this gorgeous soup idea.

Here is a recipe for a simple soup. This was insanely good and I would serve it to guests.

RECIPE

1 can cannellini beans
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
A handful of fresh spinach
½ cup of veggie stock
2-3 pinches of dried rosemary
Salt to taste

METHOD

In a medium sauce pan add olive oil, garlic and rosemary

Drain some of the liquid from the can of beans and pour the beans into the sauce pan.

Stir it around a bit. I mashed up my beans, too. That’s how I like it.

Add a large handful of fresh spinach. Let it cook for a few minutes on medium to high heat.

Add ½ cup of the veggie stock and salt to taste.

This was amazing! So simple, so fast and truly filling and delicious!

If you want to get fancy I would puree it in the food processor for a more genteel presentation; however, the rustic look with say a Panini sandwich would also be fantastic.

Pretty Purple Kale

purple cabbage pantry diaries

These Purple Kale plants are beautiful and they certainly do brighten the long Midwest winters. They are practically the only thing with color left by mid winter.
But I certainly did hope that they were also edible. It turns out that they are and they are also quite nutritious.
I found a few recipes to utilize this pretty veggie. It’s inexpensive and is as beautiful in the plate as around it.

Braised Tuscan Kale

4 bunches kale, stems removed
Salt as needed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ white onion thinly sliced
½ rosemary sprig
1 dried small red chile
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
¼ cup chicken stock or water

1. Coarsely chop the kale leaves and blanch them in boiling salted water, about 3 minutes, then drain.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion, rosemary and chile. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. When the onion is translucent and starting to color, 3 to 5 minutes, add the kale.

3. Cook the kale over medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often. The kale will turn a deep, almost black color, become soft and then almost a little crisp. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If the greens get too dry during the cooking, stir in a little stock or water.

4. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve.

Bean and Kale Soup

1/2 lb. dried Great Northern beans
Water as needed
Olive oil as needed
1 onion, chopped
2 small carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 cup shredded kale (1 small bunch)
1 boiling potato, diced
2 cup chopped Swiss chard bunch (1 small bunch
1 large tomato, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place beans in large saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Let stand at room temperature overnight.

2. Drain beans and return to saucepan. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 1 hour 30 minutes, reserving liquid. Transfer half of beans to food processor or blender and puree. Reserve remaining whole beans.

3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute 5 minutes. Stir in kale, potato, pureed beans and enough reserved bean cooking liquid and water to make 6 cups. Heat over medium heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender.

4. Add chard, tomato, garlic, rosemary, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until chard is tender and flavors are well blended, at least 1 hour, adding additional bean liquid if soup is too thick. (Soup should be quite thick.)

5. Stir in reserved whole beans and simmer until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. (Can be cooled and refrigerated overnight.) Ladle into heated soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top each bowl of soup with spoonful of olive oil, if desired.

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